Disney Donated $190,000 To Florida Republicans Before Condemning ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Legislation
New campaign filings show that The Walt Disney Co. donated a substantial sum to Florida Republicans weeks before denouncing the party for passing a controversial education bill.
Disney reportedly gave $125,000 to the Republican Party of Florida and $65,000 more to a committee that aids Republican candidates running for state Senate contrasted with a donation of $25,000 to a fund led by state Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D).
Last month, state Republicans passed a bill that restricts education regarding sexual orientation and gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade. Supporters of the bill say it gives parents discretion as to when and how they want to teach their children about the topic and upholds religious freedom. Critics argue that the bill is discriminatory, with President Joe Biden even calling it “hateful.”
Disney released a statement condemning the Parental Rights In Education legislation, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents.
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“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” the corporation’s statement said.
Disney also said that they would not make additional campaign donations in Florida for the time being.
Their statement sparked a harsh response from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who signed the bill into law.
“For Disney to come out and put a statement and say that the bill should have never passed and that they are going to actively work to repeal it, I think, one, was fundamentally dishonest, but, two, I think that crossed the line,” DeSantis said.
“This state is governed by the interests of the people of the state of Florida. It is not based on the demands of California corporate executives,” DeSantis added. “They do not run this state. They do not control this state.”
He also noted that Disney failed to say anything about the bill until it was already passed to say anything.
The bill goes into effect July 1.
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